Investigators were trying to determine Friday what killed a 20-year-old student at Whittier College, although foul play was not suspected, according to Whittier Police.
The woman’s body was discovered in her college dorm room about 4:30 p.m. Thursday as police responded to a report of an unresponsive student, said Whittier Police Officer John Scoggins. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene. Her name was withheld pending family notification.
Her death does not appear to have been caused by foul play, Scoggins said.
“We are not searching for any suspects at this time and there is no known threat to the community,” he said.
The body showed signs of decomposition but it was not known how long the woman had been dead, according to the coroner’s office and Whittier police. The cause of death should come out of an autopsy to be carried out by the coroner’s office, which will also conduct toxicology tests to determine if drugs or alcohol were factors in the death, Scoggins said.
Scoggins said the deceased student was from outside California, but he didn’t know which state. He said he didn’t know if she had roommates.
Whittier College posted a message on its Facebook page about the student’s death.
“It is our deep regret to inform you that there has been a student death in Johnson Hall,” the message said. “There is no known threat to the campus community. We ask that non-residents of Johnson stay clear of the area while the Whittier Police Department conducts its investigation.”
A second message was posted, announcing the cancellation of classes Thursday night.
“We believe it is best for our community and especially our students to have classes meet tomorrow (Friday),” the message said.
“We feel that having the community be present, to be together in support of each other is important. Therefore, classes will meet on Friday. However, faculty members have been asked not to penalize students who miss class or do not participate.”
Scoggins asked that anyone with information on the dead student contact Whittier police at (562) 567-9270.
—City News Service